1.   Mention another country, and be prepared for a lesson on what foods, words, or gods they stole from the Greeks.

stories of the old country

2.   Your grandparents’ stories from “the war” (it doesn’t matter which one). This will always give your grievances some much-needed perspective.

3.   No matter what time of day, someone will be there to feed you.

4.   If not, there are at least three casserole dishes of “leftovers” in the fridge.

5.   All this food is probably why your friends always just happen to be “passing by.”

6.   No matter what the problem is, someone knows someone, who knows someone, who can help you out.

7.   Your home is immaculate because your mother started training you how to dust when you were a toddler.

8.   Whether you’re having an argument or talking in secret, every discussion occurs at the same volume.

9.   This is why you’ve learned to tune out what other people refer to as “shouting.”

10.  It’s impossible to recreate your mother’s cooking. In a Greek kitchen, a recipe is just a rough draft.

11.   It was imperative that your parents have access to every TV station in Greece, so you had satellite TV without ever even needing to ask for it.

12.   Your parents’ home is a one-stop shop for food, Tupperware, and jugs of olive oil from “the village.”

13.   You make fun of your mother’s superstitions… but you don’t go anywhere without carrying an evil eye, and you have a very specific system when it comes to passing the salt at the table.

14.   No matter how fat you think you are, you are always “too skinny” in the eyes of your older relatives.

15.   You always ate your vegetables as a child, because not doing so would be perceived as an insult to your mother’s cooking.

16.   It’s easy to tease your parents. All you need are two words: “Turkish” and “coffee.”

17.   If you leave the room during a discussion about sports or politics, you can do so being confident that everyone will still be yelling at each other about the exact same things whenever you choose to return.

18.   You can always count on your grandmother to give you the advice you truly need to hear.

19.   And you can also always count on her to get you up to speed on the soap opera of your choice, which she will narrate with as much fiery passion as she does her opinions on the Greek economy.